- General is defined as something most common, usual, most used or vague.
- An example of general used as an adjective is a general election where voters can vote for anyone they choose.
- An example of general used as an adjective is someone speaking in a general way, a way that most people will understand.
- The definition of a general is a military officer.
An example of a general was former president Dwight Eisenhower who was a five-star general in the U.S. Army.
- of, for, or from the whole or all; not particular or local: a general anesthetic, the general welfare
- of, for, or applying to a whole genus, kind, class, order, or race: the general classifications of matter
- existing or occurring extensively; common; widespread: a general unrest
- most common; usual: the general spelling of a word
- concerned with the main or overall features; lacking in details; not specific: the general features of a plan
- not precise; vague: to speak in general terms
- senior or highest in rank: an attorney general
- not connected with or limited to one branch or department of learning, business, etc.; not specialized: a general store
Origin of generalMiddle English ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin generalis ; from genus (gen. generis), kind, class: see genus
- the main or overall fact, condition, idea, etc.
- the head of some religious orders
- Archaic the public; populace
- any of various military officers ranking above a colonel; specif., U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force such an officer, with an insignia of four stars, ranking above a lieutenant general
- U.S. Marine Corps an officer of the highest rank
- an anesthetic that makes a patient unconsciousin full general anesthetic
- in the main; usually
- without specific details
- with reference to all spoken of
- Concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category: “subduing all her impressions as a woman, to something more general” (Virginia Woolf).
- Affecting or characteristic of the majority of those involved; prevalent: general discontent.
- Of or affecting the entire body: general paralysis.
- Being usually the case; true or applicable in most instances but not all: the general correctness of her decisions.
- a. Not limited in scope, area, or application: as a general rule.b. Not limited to or dealing with one class of things; diversified: general studies.
- Involving only the main features rather than precise details: a general grasp of the subject.
- Highest or superior in rank: the general manager.
- a. A commissioned rank in the US Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above lieutenant general.b. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.
- A general officer.
- A statement, principle, or fact that embraces or is applicable to the whole.
- General anesthesia.
- Archaic The public.
Origin of generalMiddle English, from Latin generālis, from genus, gener-, kind; see gen&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more general, superlative most general)
- Including or involving every part or member of a given or implied entity, whole etc.; as opposed to specific or particular. [from 13th c.]
- Applied to a person (as a postmodifier or a normal preceding adjective) to indicate supreme rank, in civil or military titles, and later in other terms; pre-eminent. [from 14th c.]
- Prevalent or widespread among a given class or area; common, usual. [from 14th c.]
- Not limited in use or application; applicable to the whole or every member of a class or category. [from 14th c.]
- Giving or consisting of only the most important aspects of something, ignoring minor details; indefinite. [from 16th c.]
- Not limited to a specific class; miscellaneous, concerned with all branches of a given subject or area. [from 16th c.]
- Commander of an army.
- Hannibal was one of the greatest generals of the ancient world.
- (military) A rank in the army and air force that is higher than colonel or brigadier, and is usually the highest rank group next to commander in chief, except in countries that use the rank of field marshal.
- (military) a commissioned rank in the British Army and Royal Marines, above lieutenant general and below field marshal.
- (military) a commissioned general officer in the United States Army, Marine Corps, or Air Force superior to a lieutenant general. A general is equal in rank or grade to a four star admiral. In the US Army, a general is junior to a general of the army. In the US Marine Corps, a general is the highest rank of commissioned officer. In the US Air Force, a general is junior to a general of the air force.
- Short for general anaesthetic or general anaesthesia.
When used as a title, it is always capitalized.
- Example: General John Doe.
The rank corresponds to pay grade O-10. Abbreviations: GEN.
- enlarge, gleaner